RIP Buddy :(

RIP Buddy :(

Postby #1fan7w » August 10th, 2015, 2:35 pm

Racing In Paradise...R.I.P Buddy Baker :cry:

Elzie Wylie “Buddy” Baker, a winning driver in some of Ford Performance’s fastest race cars, died today after a battle with cancer.

Baker, 6-foot-6, was known in racing circles as the Gentle Giant. Fierce on the track but friendly off it, he was one of the most popular people in NASCAR -- both as a driver and later as a television and radio broadcaster.

Baker was 74. He was a native of Charlotte, N.C., and lived near there in Sherrills Ford.

A nominee for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Baker won 19 Sprint Cup races over a career that stretched from 1959 to 1992.
He won 6 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in a FORD... 5 for Bud Moore Engineering (1975-76) & 1 for Wood Brothers Racing (in 1983).

Baker also drove for current Ford Performance team owner Richard Petty.

“Buddy was always wide open, and that’s the way he raced and lived his life,” Petty said. “He was always full of energy. He was a person you wanted to be around because he always made you feel better. He raced with us, shared his stories with us and became our friend.

“Buddy loved the sport, and he made a lasting impression on the sport on the track, in the television booth and on the radio. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Baker family at this time.”

Baker was most at home on NASCAR’s biggest tracks. The faster the speeds, the better he ran.

He swept both races at Talladega Superspeedway in 1975 driving Bud Moore’s familiar No. 15 blue and white Fords and added wins that season at Atlanta and Ontario, Calif., both very fast tracks.

Baker won again in Moore’s Ford at Talladega in 1976. His last Cup victory came in the Wood Brothers’ famous No. 21 Ford at Daytona International Speedway in the summer of 1983.

Buddy was the 1st driver to achieve 200 mph on a closed course :o thus earning his nickname "Leadfoot" ...he knew how to GO FAST !!!
His average speed of 177.602 mph in winning the 1980 Daytona 500 remains the record for that race.

“Buddy was a heck of a race car driver,” said Moore, whose South Carolina-based team built cars for Baker from 1975 to 1977. “He was as good as anybody who came along on the major speedways, anything from a mile and a half to two and a half miles. Everybody had to contend with him because he was always up front.”

News media representatives will remember Baker was one of the sports great interviews. After he retired from driving, he shared many stories from a long driving career on television and radio broadcasts, generating another legion of Buddy Baker fans.

Baker once talked about learning to race by getting advice from veteran drivers, including Ford great Curtis Turner, who told Baker where to drop back on his throttle going into the corner at a dirt track.

“He told me the spot, and when I got near there I might as well have had it wide open because there was no way I was going to make the corner,” Baker said. “I went backward through the gate and into the parking lot. I came back in and found Turner later. I asked him, ‘Hey, are you sure you drive it in that deep?’ He said, ‘Yeah, but I’ve got 20 years’ experience.’ ”

NASCAR chairman Brian France called Baker “one of the greatest storytellers in the sport’s history. But those who witnessed his racing talent recognized Buddy as a fast and fierce competitor, setting speed records and winning on NASCAR’s biggest stages. It is that dual role that made Buddy an absolute treasure who will be missed dearly.”

"Do not shed a tear. Give a smile when you say my name. I'm not saying goodbye. Just talk to you later" ... ies-cancer
BUDDYBAKER_TBIRD.jpg (162.52 KiB) Viewed 2202 times
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♥ I'm blessed with an amazing husband ♥
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~You don't have to win championships to be a winner...
You just have to act like a winner to be a TRUE champion.~
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